How to Move a Gun Safe: The Best Methods Explained

pistol how to move a gun safe

There’s no question, most heavy-duty gun safes are heavy, bulky, and awkward to move. But learning how to move a gun safe the right way can be important, if you’re planning on moving or you simply want to relocate your safe to a more secure location in the home. Why? Because moving the gun safe without taking certain precautions can cause serious damage to your safe and your home. It can also make a tough operation that much tougher. This guide will go over how to move a gun safe the right way, and the common mistakes you should avoid.

How to Move a Gun Safe

Before you get started, careful planning and a risk assessment is crucial. Is the weapons locker in good condition? What type of transportation method are you using? If you’re planning on moving the weapons locker via a moving truck, make sure its loading ramp works properly and can be locked securely in place.

Most people want to save on the cost of hiring professional movers to relocate or move their weapons locker. If you have to move a heavy safe, then professional movers isn’t such a bad idea, if you have the budget. However, if you don’t want to hire professional movers to get the project done, you’ll need to use moving equipment, such as a dolly and some furniture blankets to get your weapons locker out of the house and onto the truck.

Gun safes can be very difficult to move because of their bulk and awkward size. Because of this, you will also need to take special safety measures during the relocation process that will protect your belongings and the safe itself, from damage.

Empty Your Gun Safe

You don’t want to move your safe with guns inside. To protect your firearms,  valuables and other personal items, and to reduce the weight, empty it out before you move it. While this may seem like common sense, you’d be surprised to learn how many people skip this important step. This step not only helps to make safes lighter, but it will also prevent any damage to your valuables that can occur during transport.

Give Your Safe a Good Cleaning

This is another important step. How long has your weapons locker been stored in the same place? Years? If it’s been a while since your safe has seen the light of day, then it could probably use a good cleaning, before you load it onto the truck. You can wipe down the exterior using a dry microfiber cloth. Avoid using anything abrasive, since it can scratch the surface of the safe. Inside, now is your chance to really deep clean and vacuum it out before the move. This will prevent you from bringing dirt and dust into the new home.

Remove Anchor Bolts

The anchor bolts are an important security feature that is designed to prevent a thief from removing your weapons locker from the home. The first thing you should do before moving a safe is to take off any anchors. Most gun safe owners will anchor their safe to the ground or wall. Obviously, this must be done prior to loading your gun safe onto a dolly, but it’s a task  most people forget about until it’s time to load up.

Do I Need to Remove the Gun Safe’s Door?

pistols gun safe

If you have limited help on hand, then removing the door of your safe can make the job much easier, since it’s such a heavy piece. Some models are designed to allow you to easily remove the door if the safe is unlocked. If you’re not sure whether you can remove the door of your gun safe, take a look at the owner’s manual. By taking the door of the safe off, you can reduce the overall weight by as much as 25%. This can make moving safes much easier. If the manufacturer does not recommend removing this item, then make sure it has been secured correctly.

Use a Dolly

You need to use the right equipment for this task. The best way to move a heavy gun safe is to use a high-quality, heavy-duty appliance dolly, one that’s rated to handle this type of heavy item. There are other popular methods you can try, such as using PVC pipes or allowing the safe to roll down the hall with the help of some golf balls, but really, using a dolly is the safest option.

Equipment Rentals

If you don’t have the proper equipment, you can rent a dolly from your local Home Depot, or a moving company. Before you rent the dolly, you’ll need to know the gun safe’s weight and dimensions. If you’re not sure which type of hand truck to rent, speak with the staff and explain that you’re moving a gun safe. You should also mention whether or not stairs will be involved, since this can impact the type of dolly you end up renting.

Can I Move a Gun Safe By Myself?

pistols in an open safe

Never move a gun safe by yourself. There are times when finding someone to help you move may seem impossible, but for this task, you definitely need some helpers. Bottom line, if you want to move your safe easily and quickly, then you need a friend or two to help out. While moving it yourself may be tempting, it can lead to a serious injury, should the safe tip over. Even if you’re just moving the gun safe to a different room in the home, you need to have some help on hand.

Plan Your Exit Route

This important step will ensure the move goes smoothly.

Are you bringing a new gun safe home or moving your old one out? Whatever the case may be, any time this type of relocation is involved, you should carefully measure the doorways, walking paths, and any tight spots that the safe will pass through. Depending on your safe’s dimensions and weight, you may need to get creative with how you get it in or out of the house.

Avoid Damaging Your Property

Planning ahead will eliminate the risk of damaging doorways, floors and walls, or another item in the safe’s way. You’ll want to compare these measurements to the dimensions of your gun safe. This will allow you to move a large piece of furniture, chairs, and rugs out of the way in preparation for the big move. If you plan on moving the safe upstairs, make sure your staircase can handle this type of weight. Carefully map out your route and include some spots you can use to rest the gun safe.

How to Protect Your Walls and Floors

Since this is such a dangerous relocation project, you need to take it one step at a time and determine how you can prevent any property damage. Move every piece of furniture well out of the safe’s path, before you get started with the relocation.

You can use moving blankets and stretch wrap them around the safe, but even after you’ve protected the gun safe from damage, you will still need to take some extra steps to protect your house, including the walls and floors. If the safe is going to pass through any tight areas make sure you take extra precautions to protect these areas.

You can protect the floors of your house by laying down thick cardboard, old rugs, or blankets. This way can help to minimize any damage to your home or personal items, in the event the gun safe tips over or bangs into a wall or piece of furniture.

When you’re going down stairs or trying to navigate around tight corners in the home, make sure you proceed with extreme caution. Try to remain calm and go slowly. To maneuver around corners safely, you will need to make wider than average turns.

The Process

gun closet

  • Once you’re all set, if you’ve decided to leave the door on, check that it’s closed and locked tightly. Then, wrap the furniture blankets around the exterior to prevent any damage to the weapons locker and any walls, flooring, and household items in its path.
  • Ideally, you’ll have two friends who can help you move the gun safe, with you positioned on one side, directing the dolly.
  • Begin by getting it onto the dolly.
  • Carefully and slowly tilt the safe to slip the dolly underneath the safe.
  • Use ropes or straps to secure the safe to the dolly.
  • If you are loading it onto a moving truck or van, you’ll need to use a ramp.
  • Once you have the gun safe in the van or truck, it must be positioned against a side of the vehicle and securely strapped in place to prevent it from moving and sliding during transport.

Taking a Safe Down a Flight of Stairs

Bringing a gun safe down a steep flight of stairs on a dolly is dangerous and difficult. If you only need to move the gun safe down a few steps, then the job won’t be quite as challenging, but it can still be pretty tricky. Regardless of how many stairs are involved, you’ll need to have a friend or two on hand to help.

Stair Climbing Hand Trucks

You’ll also need to use a special kind of dolly, one that’s designed specifically for stairs. These are often called stair climbing hand trucks. This type of dolly is available in a variety of sizes and styles, just make sure the one you choose is rated to handle the size and weight of your safe.

Unloading a Safe

After you’ve moved the safe to another location, you and your helpers will basically follow the same steps. Make sure you’ve measured out the safe’s path through the new home, so you can anticipate any issues with getting it through tight doorways or up or down stairs.

Other Options

If you’ve searched online, looking for the fastest, easiest ways to move a gun safe, then you’ve probably come across ideas that involve using PVC pipes or golf balls. While these methods can work, if done correctly, they aren’t exactly the best options to try, especially if you want to prevent damage to your floors.

Golf Balls

While it’s true that placing several golf balls under a heavy safe can make moving one fast and simple, if you don’t want to end up doing some serious damage to your floors, I’d steer clear of the golf ball method. The balls will end up damaging your floors because the weight of the safe will push the balls deep down into the floor, leaving dimples, scratches, gouges, and dents in their wake. If you have carpet, this method will not work at all. The pressure from the safe will push the balls deep down in the carpet fibers, preventing them from rolling.

PVC Pipes


This option won’t ruin your floors, but there is some risk involved. For this method, the pipes work to spread the weight of the safe across a larger area. This will make rolling it across your floors less dangerous. However, if you relax your grip on the safe, or someone who’s helping you move the safe begins to use a faster or slower pace than you, the safe can easily get away from you and can slide right into a door or wall, or it can even tip over.

Rectangular Bars

For this method, you will also need some helpers.

Many professional movers recommend using rectangular bars. The bars have thick padding on the bottom, which prevents the safe from sinking into the floor, but it also provides a smooth surface that makes it easier to slide. Professional movers will lay out several of these bars along the safe’s path. This allows the safe to easily glide over the floor and to the awaiting moving van or truck. However, many pro movers agree that if you have to move your gun safe, moving it with a dolly is still the safest option and one that gives you the most control.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to move a gun safe the right way can save you time and money. It can also prevent a serious accident and injury, while also preventing damage to your safe, and the floors and walls in your home. If you have a large safe, then there’s no question, this is one of those jobs you’ve always dreaded. By using the tips and tricks I’ve included in this guide, you should have no trouble moving your safe, whether it’s a major move out of state, across town, or from one room to another. Safety will be the biggest priority. Always make sure you have an extra set or two of hands that can help you guide your massive safe to its rightful spot and that you take special precautions to protect your safe, your floors, your walls, and yourself.

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